Friday NFL preview: Will these QBs be able to play?

Will Luck, Brees and Cutler play this weekend? (1:24)

Adam Schefter updates the injuries of Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Jay Cutler and the chances they play this weekend. (1:24)

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Friday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: Rex Ryan didn't want to rule out either LeSean McCoy or Sammy Watkins for Sunday's game against the Giants when he spoke to reporters Thursday, but it would be a shock if either played. Don't expect either player to practice Friday, and expect the Bills to tag both McCoy and Watkins as "doubtful" or "out" on their Friday injury report, which should be public by 1 p.m. ET -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins traveled to London on Thursday, and coach Joe Philbin said the key will be adjusting to the time change and staying on schedule. Miami traveled to London last year and will use many of the same tips the team learned in its victory over the Raiders. The team and tailback Lamar Miller also must do a better job running the ball and controlling the pace of the game in this year's game against the Jets. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: Patriots players are off for the bye week, but the work is just beginning for defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who was acquired in a trade from New Orleans on Wednesday. At 6-foot-5, 324 pounds, Hicks arrived in town Thursday and is beginning the process of getting acclimated to his new team, on which he'll join Dominique Easley, Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch and first-round pick Malcom Brown in a defensive-tackle rotation. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: The Jets might have shipped 350 rolls of toilet paper to London, but they also departed with two very important carry-on items -- Chris Ivory and Eric Decker. Ivory went through a full practice and is slated to play. Decker was limited and his status is up in the air. If both play Sunday, that will certainly make the Jets feel better than any extra-soft roll of toilet paper can. -- Ohm Youngmisuk


Baltimore Ravens: Did the Ravens save their season with Thursday night's overtime win against the Steelers? With upcoming games vs. the Browns and at the 49ers, Baltimore could be back to .500 quickly. And consider this: Only one team has ever made the playoffs after starting a season 0-4. The Ravens would have been in a huge hole if not for Justin Tucker's heroics. -- ESPN.com staff

Cincinnati Bengals: With a nearly completely healthy 53-man roster right now, the Bengals have to be the envy of the league. On Thursday's injury report, only safety George Iloka was listed as a non-participant for the day's practice. Although it's possible he misses Sunday's game against Kansas City, it doesn't appear that he's dealing with an injury serious enough to keep him out for an extended period. Friday could be his final opportunity to prove he can play this weekend, as the Bengals go through a low-speed walk-through to close out the week. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns should get a better idea whether cornerback Joe Haden will be able to play Sunday after Friday's practice. Haden has been limited for two days with injuries to his ribs and wrist. The Browns need him against the Chargers' trio of standout receivers. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: This one will hurt for a while. The Steelers had several chances to seal the game but didn't have a kicker to turn to for what would have been a 43-yard field goal. Le'Veon Bell was the lone bright spot for the offense in the second half. He's the biggest bright spot for the offense moving forward. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Though the Falcons' passing attack is the most flashy part of their offense, the Texans are well aware of the damage they can cause running the ball. Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta had 158 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. "They do a real good job," nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "The offensive line, that scheme they run and everything, the backs find holes." -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: It's been almost three years since quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has started an NFL game. The date was Nov. 4, 2012, while he was with the Titans. Hasselbeck was 20-of-35 for 200 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the Titans' 51-20 loss to Chicago. Hasselbeck will start against Jacksonville on Sunday if Andrew Luck doesn't play because of a right shoulder injury. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: Right guard Brandon Linder, the team's best lineman, has a 50-50 shot of playing against Indianapolis. If he can't play, the team might turn to A.J. Cann, the team's third-round draft pick, rather than Tyler Shatley. Cann is a more powerful player, and the Jaguars want to run behind the ride side of the line. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans have held opponents to a 30.6 percent conversion rate on third down, tied for third in the NFL. It's one big reason the defense has been better than last year. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: The Broncos were concerned enough with both left tackle Ty Sambrailo's left shoulder injury and their depth at tackle at the moment to sign Tyler Polumbus to the roster. Polumbus, who made the Broncos' roster as an undrafted rookie in 2008, has played in similar offensive systems in his earlier stint with the Broncos, as well as his time with Washington and Atlanta, where Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator. His transition to Gary Kubiak's offense should go quickly. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: Wide receiver Albert Wilson could be available for Sunday's game at Cincinnati despite an injured shoulder. Either way, the Chiefs are shifting some of his playing time to rookie Chris Conley. Conley is bigger and faster than Wilson and has more big-play ability. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: One of the reasons Derek Carr is off to a hot start in his second season is he is getting sterling protection from Oakland's offensive line. He has been sacked just once in three games. The time has helped Carr develop his deep passing accuracy. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: One of the things that could help San Diego run the football more effectively is a higher success rate on first down runs. Heading into Week 4, the Chargers average 3.43 yards per carry on first down runs, which is No. 23 in the NFL. "We need both first down runs and completions that are getting you 4 or 5 yards," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. "Then you're in a win-win situation on second and third down." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are preparing for the Saints' system of offense, not specifically Drew Brees, who did not play last week because of a shoulder injury, or Luke McCown, who started against Carolina, even though the quarterbacks' styles are different. The Cowboys are expecting Brees to play and will look to push the pocket to affect his vision and force him to make more difficult throws. McCown will look to run more, while Brees moves around to throw. Regardless of the quarterback, the Cowboys have to apply pressure, something they have not done well enough in three games, generating only three sacks. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Giants fans should be anxious to hear about defensive end Robert Ayers' status Friday -- he did not practice Thursday because of his hamstring injury, after working on a limited basis Wednesday. The Giants have only three sacks in three games, and Ayers is arguably their best pass-rusher. Not having Ayers against the Bills would be a blow. -- Kieran Darcy

Philadelphia Eagles: Kiko Alonso is scheduled to be back in Philadelphia on Friday after being examined by Dr. James Andrews. Alonso is not expected to play for another month or so. Meanwhile, the team will hold a light workout as it awaits word from the NFL on whether its game will be held as scheduled in Landover, Maryland. Hurricane Joaquin will continue to follow its path up the East Coast. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: The Redskins are hopeful corner Chris Culliver will be able to practice Friday after missing Thursday with a sore knee. Culliver injured his knee in practice Wednesday and was limping around. They can't afford more hits to their secondary, which didn't have great depth to begin with and already is down two starters: corner DeAngelo Hall and safety Duke Ihenacho. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: The attention is on Jay Cutler on Friday. Cutler left open the possibility of playing on Sunday despite being only 11 days removed from suffering a hamstring strain that knocked him out of the Arizona game. Cutler and Jimmy Clausen have been splitting reps at practice -- a sure sign the Bears have at least considered starting Cutler at quarterback against the Raiders. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said on Thursday his calf is 100 percent, but he is still working his way back from hamstring tightness. The Bears might rule out left tackle Jermon Bushrod on Friday. Bushrod has been absent all week with a concussion and shoulder injury. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: While the Lions received some good news Thursday with linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip) returning to practice, there was also a dose of questions with injury concerns. Running back Joique Bell, who missed the preseason with knee and Achilles injuries, missed Thursday's practice. He's struggled this season, gaining 1.1 yards per carry. If he doesn't practice Friday, that's not a good sign for his Monday night availability and could open up some room for rookie Zach Zenner, who led the NFL in rushing in the preseason and forced his way onto the roster based on performance. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: Will the Packers' run defense get a boost with the return of defensive tackle Letroy Guion? Defensive coordinator Dom Capers hopes so. The Packers rank 27th in the league in rushing yards allowed, but it all came without Guion, who was serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The Packers plan to use Guion and nose tackle B.J. Raji in tandem on obvious running plays in Sunday's game against the 49ers. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will have a better idea on Friday of whether wide receivers Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright are able to play against the Broncos. Coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday "there's a chance" that both Johnson (ribs) and Wright (hand) could play Sunday, but if one or both is out, the Vikings will have to turn to lesser-used receivers such as Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson and Stefon Diggs. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Although Julio Jones was held out of Wednesday's practice and limited on Thursday, the toe and hamstring injuries he's dealing with are not expected to keep the Falcons receiver from playing against the Texans on Sunday. The NFC's Offensive Player of the Month said he's ready to go, and coach Dan Quinn confirmed such. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: Starting running back Jonathan Stewart (leg) and fullback Mike Tolbert (groin) haven't practiced the past two days. Coach Ron Rivera hasn't appeared concerned he won't have them for Sunday at Tampa Bay, but if neither practices on Friday that won't be a good sign. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: It might wind up being too little too late, but the Saints are gradually getting healthier. Drew Brees expects to play Sunday. Cornerback Keenan Lewis and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe look poised to make their 2015 debuts. And safety Jairus Byrd could be back soon. Running back C.J. Spiller, who returned from his own knee injury in Week 2, said he knows from "the outside looking in, it's probably looking ugly sitting at 0-3." But he said once everyone is healthy, "I think we're gonna be a fun team to watch." -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin didn't practice Thursday because of a knee injury, but coach Lovie Smith said the running back should be OK. The Bucs need a healthy Martin on Sunday when going against the Carolina Panthers' stingy run defense, which ranks fourth in the NFL by allowing just 75.7 yards per game. Martin has 176 yards this season, but he was held to a season-low 46 on 14 carries in a loss to the Texans last Sunday. -- Andrew Astleford


Arizona Cardinals: The confidence level around the Cardinals has progressively increased throughout the week, but they're concerned about the Rams' defensive line, in particular defensive tackle Aaron Donald. That the Rams have found success rushing four players (six sacks this season) has offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin concerned. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: There's a sense of desperation around the Rams this week, as they know they can't afford to fall into a 1-3 hole and lose to Arizona for the fourth consecutive time. That's especially true with Green Bay up next on the schedule. Quarterback Nick Foles has made it a point to try to rally the offense this week, knowing that it's on them to provide more than the eight points per game they've averaged the past two weeks to find an upset win in the desert. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: Yes, frustration is palpable in Santa Clara after consecutive blowout losses by a combined 90-25, and receiver Anquan Boldin said he has felt it before. His solution? To keep working. And no, the players are not looking to the coaching staff for answers. "They don't play," Boldin said. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have yet to connect with rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett on a deep ball, but that could change Monday night. According to ESPN Stats & Information, opposing quarterbacks are completing 81.8 percent of their downfield passes (15 yards or more) against the Lions through three games. Don't be surprised if the Seahawks use play-action and take multiple shots downfield with Lockett. -- Sheil Kapadia